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Digital Higher Education 
and its Potential for the Innovation 
of European Higher Education Systems 
Keynote: Professor M...
Digital Higher Education 
and its Potential for the Innovation 
of European Higher Education Systems 
Keynote: Professor M...
The real question…. 
What type of higher 
education system do we 
want the innovative use of 
digital technology to serve?
“…We risk being left 
behind as other parts of 
the world act more nimbly 
in garnering the benefits 
of technology” (p.6)...
Outline… 
1. Numbers 
1. Narratives 
3. Nomenclature
Outline… 
1. What do the numbers tell us? 
1. What narratives are being told? 
3. Why is nomenclature important?
“Who controls the past commands the future. 
Who commands the future conquers the past.” 
(George Orwell)
1. What do the numbers tell us?
1. What do the numbers tell us? 
Three 
Paradoxes
Paradox 1 
Blended, On-line and Digital (BOLD) 
education is booming but the level 
of concern is growing throughout the 
...
Growth in US Enrolments… 
Allan, I., & Seaman, J. (2014). Grade Change: Tracking Online Education in the United States. Ba...
http://www.openeducationeuropa.eu/sites/default/files/scoreboard_september2014.pdf 
2014 
1. What do the numbers tell us?
Allan, I., & Seaman, J. (2014). Grade Change: Tracking Online Education in the United States. Babson 
Survey Research Grou...
Type A 
66% 
Education at a Glance… 
OECD 
Average 70% 
1. What do the numbers tell us?
‘However, when we adjust for course level and do not focus on a particular 
group of students, Massey University and the O...
1. What do the numbers tell us?
Paradox 2 
The public and private benefits of 
higher education are clear to all but 
there is a growing risk of social an...
1. What do the numbers tell us?
Ireland 
1. What do the numbers tell us? 
Poland 
NZ
1. What do the numbers tell us?
1. What do the numbers tell us? 
UNESCO. (2013). Education for All Global Monitoring Report. Paris.
EU Unemployment Rate 
Almost 13 million people have been unemployed for more than one year 
1. What do the numbers tell us...
1. What do the numbers tell us?
Ireland 
1. What do the numbers tell us?
Paradox 3 
While the benefits of higher 
education have been quantified we 
know very little about the tangible 
return on...
“There is also almost no understanding of 
the private and social benefits of distance 
and online education in comparison...
Recommendation 
6. “National funding frameworks should create 
incentives, especially in the context of new 
forms of perf...
Is the money on the mission? 
1. What do the numbers tell us? 
2.7%
2. What narratives are being told?
2. What narratives are being told? 
Competing 
Stories
“An avalanche is coming. It’s hard of course, to 
say exactly when. It may be sooner than we think. 
Certainly there is no...
“An educational change is neither natural nor 
normal, constant nor common as it involves a 
deeper struggle over who will...
Selwyn, N., & Bulfin, S. (2014). The discursive construction of MOOCs as educational opportunty and educational 
threat. M...
Knowledge Economy 
Learning Society 
2. What narratives are being told?
Knowledge Economy 
2. What narratives are being told? 
• Open learning 
• Online learning 
• Anytime, anywhere learning 
E...
Knowledge Economy 
Learning Society 
2. What narratives are being told? 
• Open learning 
• Online learning 
• Anytime, an...
Reproduction 
• Mass education 
• Quality standards 
• Education as commodity 
• Increased market competition 
Knowledge E...
Reproduction 
Knowledge Economy 
2. What narratives are being told? 
Reschooling 
• Open learning 
• Online learning 
• An...
Reproduction Reschooling 
Deschooling 
Knowledge Economy 
2. What narratives are being told? 
• Open learning 
• Online le...
Reproduction Reschooling 
E-learning • 
Digital learning • 
Technology-enhanced learning • 
Knowledge Economy 
2. What nar...
2. What narratives are being told?
Learning to change 
and transform 
Learning to live 
2. What narratives are being told? 
together 
Learning to do 
Learnin...
2. What narratives are being told? 
How well 
is Europe 
doing?
3. Why is nomenclature important?
3. Why is nomenclature important? 
Rooted 
in Identity
3. Why is nomenclature important?
3. Why is nomenclature important?
www.dcu.ie/connected
3. Why is nomenclature important?
3. Why is nomenclature important?
Conclusion
Conclusion 
What type of higher 
education system do we 
want the innovative use of 
digital technology to serve?
A more inclusive digital learning ecology… 
Off Campus 
in Class 
Synchronous Asynchronous 
Off Campus 
out of Class 
On C...
One that 
Transforms 
Lives and 
Societies 
And…
Vision… 
To be recognised as a world leader at the 
forefront of education, research and 
innovation in contemporary model...
International Advisory Board… 
• Professor Grainne Conole 
• Professor Terry Anderson 
• Dr Larry Johnson 
• Professor Mik...
International Advisory Board… 
• Professor Rhona Sharpe 
• Professor Peter Shea 
• Professor Norm Vaughan 
• Professor Air...
2015 Irish Higher Education Horizon Report
Contact Details 
mark.brown@dcu.ie 
@mbrownz 
http://www4.dcu.ie/nidl 
http://www.slideshare.net/mbrownz
Digital Higher Education and its Potential for the Innovation of European Higher Education Systems
Digital Higher Education and its Potential for the Innovation of European Higher Education Systems
Digital Higher Education and its Potential for the Innovation of European Higher Education Systems
Digital Higher Education and its Potential for the Innovation of European Higher Education Systems
Digital Higher Education and its Potential for the Innovation of European Higher Education Systems
Digital Higher Education and its Potential for the Innovation of European Higher Education Systems
Digital Higher Education and its Potential for the Innovation of European Higher Education Systems
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Digital Higher Education and its Potential for the Innovation of European Higher Education Systems

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Keynote presentation at the European Association for Distance Teaching Universities Conference, Krakow, 24th October, 2014

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Digital Higher Education and its Potential for the Innovation of European Higher Education Systems

  1. 1. Digital Higher Education and its Potential for the Innovation of European Higher Education Systems Keynote: Professor Mark Brown Director, National Institute for Digital Learning Dublin City University 24th October 2014
  2. 2. Digital Higher Education and its Potential for the Innovation of European Higher Education Systems Keynote: Professor Mark Brown Director, National Institute for Digital Learning Dublin City University 24th October 2014
  3. 3. The real question…. What type of higher education system do we want the innovative use of digital technology to serve?
  4. 4. “…We risk being left behind as other parts of the world act more nimbly in garnering the benefits of technology” (p.6).
  5. 5. Outline… 1. Numbers 1. Narratives 3. Nomenclature
  6. 6. Outline… 1. What do the numbers tell us? 1. What narratives are being told? 3. Why is nomenclature important?
  7. 7. “Who controls the past commands the future. Who commands the future conquers the past.” (George Orwell)
  8. 8. 1. What do the numbers tell us?
  9. 9. 1. What do the numbers tell us? Three Paradoxes
  10. 10. Paradox 1 Blended, On-line and Digital (BOLD) education is booming but the level of concern is growing throughout the world 1. What do the numbers tell us?
  11. 11. Growth in US Enrolments… Allan, I., & Seaman, J. (2014). Grade Change: Tracking Online Education in the United States. Babson Survey Research Group and Quahog Research Group, LLC. 1. What do the numbers tell us?
  12. 12. http://www.openeducationeuropa.eu/sites/default/files/scoreboard_september2014.pdf 2014 1. What do the numbers tell us?
  13. 13. Allan, I., & Seaman, J. (2014). Grade Change: Tracking Online Education in the United States. Babson Survey Research Group and Quahog Research Group, LLC. 1. What do the numbers tell us?
  14. 14. Type A 66% Education at a Glance… OECD Average 70% 1. What do the numbers tell us?
  15. 15. ‘However, when we adjust for course level and do not focus on a particular group of students, Massey University and the Open University have comparable extramural course completion rates. ‘ (p.30). Guiney, P. (2014). Extramural students’ participation and achievement: Trends, patterns, highlights. New Zealand Ministry of Education. Wellington 1. What do the numbers tell us?
  16. 16. 1. What do the numbers tell us?
  17. 17. Paradox 2 The public and private benefits of higher education are clear to all but there is a growing risk of social and economic exclusion 1. What do the numbers tell us?
  18. 18. 1. What do the numbers tell us?
  19. 19. Ireland 1. What do the numbers tell us? Poland NZ
  20. 20. 1. What do the numbers tell us?
  21. 21. 1. What do the numbers tell us? UNESCO. (2013). Education for All Global Monitoring Report. Paris.
  22. 22. EU Unemployment Rate Almost 13 million people have been unemployed for more than one year 1. What do the numbers tell us?
  23. 23. 1. What do the numbers tell us?
  24. 24. Ireland 1. What do the numbers tell us?
  25. 25. Paradox 3 While the benefits of higher education have been quantified we know very little about the tangible return on investment for the subset of off-campus online / distance learners 1. What do the numbers tell us?
  26. 26. “There is also almost no understanding of the private and social benefits of distance and online education in comparison with those of face-to-face education” (Rumble, 2014, p.208). 1. What do the numbers tell us?
  27. 27. Recommendation 6. “National funding frameworks should create incentives, especially in the context of new forms of performance-based funding, for higher education institutions to open up education, to develop more flexible modes of delivery and to diversify their student population.” 1. What do the numbers tell us?
  28. 28. Is the money on the mission? 1. What do the numbers tell us? 2.7%
  29. 29. 2. What narratives are being told?
  30. 30. 2. What narratives are being told? Competing Stories
  31. 31. “An avalanche is coming. It’s hard of course, to say exactly when. It may be sooner than we think. Certainly there is no better time than now to seek to understand what lies ahead for higher education – and to prepare” (p.8) Barber, M., Donnelly, K., & Rizvi, S. (2013). An avalanche is coming: Higher education and the revolution ahead. Institute for Public Policy Research. London. 2. What narratives are being told?
  32. 32. “An educational change is neither natural nor normal, constant nor common as it involves a deeper struggle over who will win control of the curriculum” (Evans, 1996, p.25). 2. What narratives are being told?
  33. 33. Selwyn, N., & Bulfin, S. (2014). The discursive construction of MOOCs as educational opportunty and educational threat. Monash University. 2. What narratives are being told?
  34. 34. Knowledge Economy Learning Society 2. What narratives are being told?
  35. 35. Knowledge Economy 2. What narratives are being told? • Open learning • Online learning • Anytime, anywhere learning E-learning • Digital learning • Technology-enhanced learning • Learning Society
  36. 36. Knowledge Economy Learning Society 2. What narratives are being told? • Open learning • Online learning • Anytime, anywhere learning E-learning • Digital learning • Technology-enhanced learning • Different interest groups and stakeholders borrow the same ‘language of persuasion’ to legitimize their own transformative agenda
  37. 37. Reproduction • Mass education • Quality standards • Education as commodity • Increased market competition Knowledge Economy Learning Society 2. What narratives are being told? • Open learning • Online learning • Anytime, anywhere learning E-learning • Digital learning • Technology-enhanced learning • Competing Digital Discourses
  38. 38. Reproduction Knowledge Economy 2. What narratives are being told? Reschooling • Open learning • Online learning • Anytime, anywhere learning E-learning • Digital learning • Technology-enhanced learning • • xMOOCs • Learning for all • Global curriculum • Education in change Competing Digital Discourses • Mass education • Quality standards • Education as commodity • Increased market competition Learning Society
  39. 39. Reproduction Reschooling Deschooling Knowledge Economy 2. What narratives are being told? • Open learning • Online learning • Anytime, anywhere learning E-learning • Digital learning • Technology-enhanced learning • • xMOOCs • Learning for all • Global curriculum • Education in change • OERu • Un-curriculum • Opening access • Unbundling learning Competing Digital Discourses • Mass education • Quality standards • Education as commodity • Increased market competition Learning Society
  40. 40. Reproduction Reschooling E-learning • Digital learning • Technology-enhanced learning • Knowledge Economy 2. What narratives are being told? • Open learning • Online learning • Anytime, anywhere learning Reconceptualist Competing Digital Discourses Deschooling • xMOOCs • Learning for all • Global curriculum • Education in change • OpenUpEd • Digital citizenship • Socially just society • Education for change • Mass education • Quality standards • Education as commodity • Increased market competition • OERu • Un-curriculum • Opening access • Unbundling learning Learning Society
  41. 41. 2. What narratives are being told?
  42. 42. Learning to change and transform Learning to live 2. What narratives are being told? together Learning to do Learning to know Learning to be Digital Inclusion Digital Citizenship Digital Identity (Delors Report, 1972)
  43. 43. 2. What narratives are being told? How well is Europe doing?
  44. 44. 3. Why is nomenclature important?
  45. 45. 3. Why is nomenclature important? Rooted in Identity
  46. 46. 3. Why is nomenclature important?
  47. 47. 3. Why is nomenclature important?
  48. 48. www.dcu.ie/connected
  49. 49. 3. Why is nomenclature important?
  50. 50. 3. Why is nomenclature important?
  51. 51. Conclusion
  52. 52. Conclusion What type of higher education system do we want the innovative use of digital technology to serve?
  53. 53. A more inclusive digital learning ecology… Off Campus in Class Synchronous Asynchronous Off Campus out of Class On Campus in Class Acquisition Participation On Campus out of Class
  54. 54. One that Transforms Lives and Societies And…
  55. 55. Vision… To be recognised as a world leader at the forefront of education, research and innovation in contemporary models of teaching and learning that help to transform lives and societies.
  56. 56. International Advisory Board… • Professor Grainne Conole • Professor Terry Anderson • Dr Larry Johnson • Professor Mike Keppell • Sally Reynolds • Professor George Siemens
  57. 57. International Advisory Board… • Professor Rhona Sharpe • Professor Peter Shea • Professor Norm Vaughan • Professor Airina Volungevicene • Professor Martin Weller • Professor Steve Wheeler
  58. 58. 2015 Irish Higher Education Horizon Report
  59. 59. Contact Details mark.brown@dcu.ie @mbrownz http://www4.dcu.ie/nidl http://www.slideshare.net/mbrownz

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